Persepolis is the Greek name (meaning roughly "City of the Persians") for the Persian Empire capital of Pârsa, sometimes spelled Parseh or Parse. Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid dynasty king Darius the Great, ruler of the Persian Empire between 522–486 B.C.E. The city was the most important of the Achaemenid Persian Empire cities, and its ruins are among the best known and most visited archaeological sites in the world. Persepolis was built in a region of irregular terrain, on top of a large (455x300 meters, 900x1500 feet) man-made terrace. That terrace is located on the Marvdasht Plain at the foot of the Kuh-e Rahmat mountain, 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of the modern city of Shiraz and 80 km (50 mi) south of Cyrus the Great's capital, Pasargadae. Atop the terrace is the palace or citadel complex known as Takht-e Jamshid (The Throne of Jamshid), which was built by Darius the Great, and embellished by his son Xerxes and grandson Artaxerxes. The complex features 6.7 m (22 ft) wide double stairways, the pavilion called the Gate of All Nations, a columned porch, an imposing audience hall called Talar-e Apadana, and the Hall of a Hundred Columns. The Hall of a Hundred Columns (or Throne Hall) likely had bull-headed capitals and still has doorways decorated with stone reliefs.
Naqsh-e Rustam, an ancient necropolis is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring ancient sites of the Achaemenid Empire, consisting of the colossal tombs of Persian kings dating back to the first millennium BC. It stands as a lasting memory of a once powerful empire that ruled over a significant portion of the ancient world. Naqsh-e Rustam (meaning Throne of Rustam ) is located approximately 5 km (3 miles) to the northwest of Persepolis, the capital of the former Achaemenid (Persian) Empire in present day in Iran. Engraved on the façade of a mountain range considered sacred in the Elamite periods are the rock-cut tombs of Achaemenid rulers and their families dating to the 4th and 5th centuries BC, as well as richly decorated reliefs carved by the Sasanians in the 3 rd century AD. In addition to being a royal necropolis, Naqsh-e Rustam became a major ceremonial center for the Sasanians until the 7th century AD. The Naqsh-e Rustam site was already in use prior to the arrival of the Achaemenids, as evidenced in one pre-Achaemenid (possibly Elamite) relief and a number of old graves. Although this relief has been carved over by a Sasanian relief, a portrait of a man with a forward pointing hat and a long dress-like garment (clothing not typical of the Achaemenids and Sasanians) can still be discerned on the extreme right of the later relief. According to some sources, it was this figure that locals associated with the mythical hero of the Shahnameh writings in the “book of the kings”, named Rustam, hence the name of the site.
Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. Particularly noteworthy vestiges in the 160-ha site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus II; Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace and gardens. Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
Eram Garden is a historic Persian garden in Shiraz, Iran. The garden and the building within it are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars province. The idyllic Eram Garden (Bagh-e Eram) in Shiraz is a striking location for visitors with a variety of plants as well as a historic mansion. The Eram Garden is one of the most beautiful and monumental gardens of Iran. Apparently, its history goes back to the period of the Seljuq Dynasty (A.D.1038-1194). Since its construction and until the late 18th century, it was predominantly used by the local rulers and Persian monarchs. During the late Zand Dynasty, the garden was owned by Qashqai tribal chiefs. A Qashqai tribal chief, Mohammad Qoli Khan ordered the construction of the original mansion in the early eighteenth century, planting the garden with different trees including cypress, pine, orange and persimmon trees.
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It is located in Gawd-i Arabān quarter, near Shāh Chérāgh Mosque. It was built under Qajar rule of Iran. This is a space where light and worship intertwine. The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and colors dance throughout the day like whirling dervishes. It reflects on the ground, walls, the arches, and the towering spires. It even reflects on the visitors as if a colorful ball is hit by the first sun ray and explodes to thousands of butterflies all around. The best time to visit the mosque is in the early morning when the sun reflects the stained glass patterns onto the floor.
Narenjestan or Qavam Garden of Shiraz dates back to Qajar era and is located on the eastern side of the end of Lotfali Khan Zand Avenue. Due to the abundance of sour orange trees, it is called Narenjestan. It was built between 1879 and 1886 by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam family were merchants originally from Qazvin. But they soon became active in the government during the Zand dynasty, followed by the Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasty as well. The Qavam "Naranjestan" preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper-class families during the 19th century. The paintings on the low ceilings of the house are inspired by Victorian-era Europe. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking a small garden that was designed with fountains, date palms, and flowering plants.
The tomb of Sa’dy or Sadiyeh, is one of the major tourist attractions of Shiraz. The huge number of Iranians and non-Iranians pay a visit to this burial place and show their respect to Saadi and interest in his works, prose, and poems. This Iranian poet is a globally known scholar whose words have touched many hearts across the world and wakened up many minds to take new steps in their lives to reach higher levels of humanity. The ambiance of this location is much more attractive than its architecture although it has got an interesting character by itself. In the 13th century, a tomb built for Saadi by Shams al-Din Juvayni. In the 17th century, this tomb was destroyed. During the reign of Karim Khan was built a mausoleum with two floors of brick and plaster, flanked by two rooms. The current building was built between 1950 and 1952 to a design by the architect Mohsen Foroughi and is inspired by the Chehel Sotoun with a fusion of old and new architectural elements.
Quran Gate, Known as Darvazeh Quran, is one of oldest gates left from old eras in Shiraz, which today is considered as one of the historical relics of this town. This gate is located in Quran square, Hafttanan Boulevard, and Rabani Shirazi St. cross at the entrance of Shiraz. This arch was built in the era of Azedolleh Deylami, and a Quran was placed upon it so that the travelers could end their journey safely. The complex also includes the tomb of Khaju-ye Kermani, the poet contemporary to Sa-di. Climb up the hill to the tea house. The view of Shiraz is breathtaking from this spot. Has a spectacular view at night.
The Tomb of Hafez and its associated memorial hall, the Hāfezieh, are two memorial structures erected in the northern edge of Shiraz, Iran, in memory of the celebrated Persian poet Hafez. This place is in a peaceful, garden setting that drips with an ambiance of poetry and romance. The 14th-century writer is considered the Shakespeare of Iran, one of the greatest Persian poets of all time, and a source of national pride. The present buildings, built in 1935 and designed by the French architect and archaeologist André Godard, are at the site of previous structures, the most well-known of which was built in 1773. The tomb, its gardens, and the surrounding memorials to other great figures are a focus of tourism in Shiraz.
Arg-e Karim Khan is a citadel located in the downtown Shiraz, Iran. It was built as part of a Zandiyeh complex by the order of the orders of Karim Khan, founder of Zand dynasty. The appearance of the building resembles a solid fortress entirely made from bricks with the military as well as residential functions. It has four circular towers at its corners. Inside the Arg, there are different buildings, the north building was used in the winter, the south building for summer use, and the west building was four all seasons.
Vakil Bath is an old public bath in Shiraz, Iran. It was a part of the royal district constructed during Karim Khan Zand's reign, which includes Arg of Karim Khan, Vakil Bazaar, Vakil Mosque, and many administrative buildings. Public bathhouses existed in the Iranian culture prior to Islam but were later given much more importance due to their significant role in Islamic principals, where ritual purity was attained through washing one’s body and was a requirement of religious life. Many of these baths are still to be found scattered throughout the country. Vakil Bathhouse is a perfected example which was praised with the most advanced architecture techniques of its time.
The Vakil Mosque, in Shiraz, Iran is a beautiful mosque built in mid 18th century by Karim Khan, Regent (Vakil) and the founder of Zand Dynasty, and situated to the west of the Vakil Bazaar next to its entrance. The entrance gates, as well as the interior of the mosque, are decorated with colored tiles in beautiful floral patterns. The Mosque covers an area of 8,660 square meters. It has only two iwans instead of the usual four, on the northern and southern sides of a large open court. The iwans and court are decorated with typical Shirazi haft rangi tiles, a characteristic feature of the art and industry of Shiraz during the latter half of the 18th century. Its night prayer hall (Shabestan), with an area of approximately 2,700 square meters, contains 48 monolithic pillars carved in spirals, each with a capital of acanthus leaves.
Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz is the main section of the Shiraz Bazaar which was built in 11th Century by Karim Khan as part of a plan to make Shiraz into a prominent trading center. This architecturally beautiful building is a trade hub for merchants selling spices, rugs, handmade copper pieces, antiques, Persian sweets and much more. Vakil Bazaar has a really vibrant and bustling atmosphere. This isn’t just a tourist trap like you find at similar spots around the world. Vakil Bazaar is a place where locals actually do their shopping. This fabulous bazaar is an architectural masterpiece and excellent as it has nice courtyards, caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops where you can buy all sorts of Persian rugs, copper wares, handicrafts, spices, and antiques.
The most important pilgrimage center of the city of Shiraz is the Mausoleum of Mir Sayyed Ahmad, the son of the seventh Emam known as Shah-e-Cheragh (the Shrine of the lord of the light). Its new architecture follows the architecture of shrines with a big yard and has a picturesque, breathtaking design. Entrance to this holy and impressive shrine is free. Inside the building is decorated with numerous mirror works that make you really dazzle. This shrine is one of the most elegant and charming ones even in Iran. At night the sparking lights make an amazing spectacle in this eye-catching manmade attraction site. The shrine is beautiful at any time of the day but especially at dawn and night time when you can admire the beauty of the reflected colors and lights of the tiles.